The Museum of Modern Arts, Tarragona Contemporaneity and territory
Interior photograph of the Tarragona Museum of Modern Art . MAMT / Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA 3.0
From the 1960s, the Diputació (Provincial Council) of Tarragona had been acquiring a significant artistic collection which was not open for public viewing. So, in 1976, they created the Museum of Modern Art, whose purpose was to promote the study and knowledge of the modern and contemporary art and, at the same time, to preserve and display these collections.
The original location chosen was Casa Martí, an 18th century stately home located in the upper part of Tarragona. In 2008, the museum renewed its permanent exhibition and opened a new, more modern and educational museum project.
The museum devotes some rooms to the Taller - Escola de Pintura i Escultura (Workshop - School of Painting and Sculpture) which the Republican Government built in Tarragona and the subsequent Escola Taller d’Art de la Diputació de Tarragona (Workshop and School of Art of the Provincial Council of Tarragona). Also exhibited are works by contemporary artists of the 1980s from the region, such as Bruno Gallart or James Solé.
One of the most important collections of the museum is the legacy left by the sculptor Julio Antonio. In the permanent exhibition, you can see various facets of his work, placing emphasis on the Monument als Herois de 1811 (Monument to the Heroes of 1811), located on the Rambla Nova in Tarragona. Other representatives of the transition from the 19th century to the 20th century, such as Joseph Tapiró, are also on display.
However, the most renowned work in the Museum of Modern Art in Tarragona bears the signature of Joan Miró. This is the Tapís de Tarragona (Tapestry of Tarragona), a large-scale project that the painter made together with Josep Royo. In 1970, Miró gave this tapestry to the Hospital de la Cruz Roja in Tarragona, then directed by Rafael Orozco, in thanks for the care this doctor gave to his daughter. When the institution was closed down, the work was given over to the Museum where it occupies a place of honour.
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The Museum of Modern Art offers the MAMT Educational programme, aimed at students and teachers, to educational institutions.